THE FLYNN GUILTY PLEA: ANOTHER PYRRHIC VICTORY FOR MUELLER AND THE ANTI-TRUMPERS by: Harley Schlanger

December 8, 2017 in News by Slad

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Dec. 8 — While those wishing for the ouster of President Donald Trump from the White House greeted the guilty plea of former Trump National Security Adviser Lt. General Michael Flynn with unrestrained glee, in their delusional excitement, they apparently failed to notice that the wheels are coming off the judicial railroad known as “Russiagate.”  Legal observers noted that the Flynn plea, for a single count of “lying to the FBI”, is similar to special counsel Robert Mueller’s other “victories”, a guilty plea from a minor figure, George Papadapoulos — also for lying to the FBI — and money laundering and sundry tax evasion charges against Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort and his associate, Rick Gates.  None of these charges bear a direct relation to the mandate originally assigned to Mueller, to discover if Trump and his campaign “colluded” with Russia to steal the election, and if he obstructed justice to cover up the collusion.
It has been nearly seven months since Mueller was appointed special counsel.  During that time, he has spent almost $7 million to conduct what President Trump calls a “witch hunt.”  In addition to his team of investigators, many of whom have served as prosecutors and FBI officials, he has had the full cooperation of the U.S. intelligence community, which began the initial investigation into charges of “Russian meddling” in late spring 2016, working from a game plan drafted by British intelligence’s GCHQ, begun in June 2015.  Theirl investigation resulted in a finding, released by Obama’s Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper on January 6, 2017, that stated that the U.S. intelligence community had concluded, “with high confidence”, that Russia engaged in a campaign to influence the 2016 election.
Mueller has also had the full support of the mainstream media in the U.S., which has deployed teams of investigative reporters to “find the truth.”  These media have consistently used “anonymous sources” and “high level leaks” to bolster Mueller’s case, repeating endlessly the mantra that “there is no doubt that there was Russian meddling,” because the U.S. intelligence community has certified it.  The major media in Europe, led by the pack of liars in the British press, have been dutiful in echoing this theme, that there is no doubt that Russia meddled and Trump colluded, and that it is only a matter of time until he is either driven out of office by impeachment, the 25th amendment, or assassination!
Given these confident assertions, would it be too much to ask, “With all these charges, can we finally see some evidence?”
THE FLYNN CASE
The plea bargain by Michael Flynn proves again that there is no evidence to back the charges against Russian President Putin and Donald Trump.  The original anti-Putin/anti-Trump narrative claimed that the computers of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) were hacked by Russians, directed by Putin, who then released the hacked emails, which were harmful to Hillary Clinton, to Wikileaks. The Trump campaign, the story goes, then used these documents to discredit her candidacy.
Yet this narrative is hardly heard anymore.  Though there was scant coverage of the report by experts with the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS), which showed that there was no Russian hacking, but an internal download of documents, the VIPS report effectively discredited the hacking narrative.  Further, Wikileaks’ Assange has insisted that the emails were not delivered to him by anyone associated with Russian intelligence.
Instead, Mueller now is focusing on squeezing Trump associates, trying to “flip” them, so they will offer concocted stories which confirm the charge of collusion, or obstruction of justice.  This is why the case of Flynn was greeted with such delight by the never-Trumpers.  Aha, they say, Flynn lied about a discussion with the Russian Ambassador to the U.S.  This must prove collusion!  And Trump’s request to FBI Director Comey that he “go easy on Flynn” must therefore prove obstruction, especially after Trump fired Comey.
In fact, what it demonstrates is the desperation of Mueller to make some sort of case.  There is no dispute that Flynn had several conversations with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian Ambassador, at the end of December 2016.  There is also no dispute that Flynn asked the Russians on December 22 for help in stopping a U.N. Security Council Resolution against Israel, which the Russians did not do.  In a second conversation, on December 29, after President Obama imposed new sanctions against Russia, to penalize them for “meddling,” Flynn asked the Russians to respond cautiously to Obama’s sanctions.  In this conversation, Kislyak told him that Russia had chosen “to moderate its response” to the sanctions, which Putin announced the next day.  Both calls were intercepted by U.S. intelligence, and became the basis for the interrogation of Flynn, by the FBI,
That interrogation took place on January 24.  Given that the FBI had transcripts of these calls, why did they conduct an interrogation?  Obviously, to entrap him, in the hope that he might say something which contradicted the text in the transcript.  And according to the charge filed by Mueller, Flynn did.
But was there anything illegal about Flynn’s calls to Kislyak?   The answer is “NO.”  Flynn was not acting as a private citizen, but as a representative of a newly elected administration, during the transition period, when members of a new administration routinely have contact with other governments. Not only were the calls legal, they were based on fulfilling the mandate Trump was given by the voters, to break decisively with the anti-Russian policy course of Obama, which Hillary Clinton had pledged to continue, or even escalate.
That top Trump operatives were aware that the whole Russian narrative was designed to sabotage the President-Elect’s efforts to forge a new course of cooperation with Russia is clear from another feature of the Flynn case.  In attempting to prove that officials close to Trump knew that Flynn would speak to Kislyak, an email has been produced from a national security appointee to the transition team, K.T. McFarland.  In that email, as reported by the {New York Times}, McFarland described Obama’s sanctions policy as a “last-minute attempt to discredit Mr. Trump’s victory, box him in diplomatically and provoke him into a potentially damaging statement in Russia’s defense.”
The discussions with Kislyak actually prove that the incoming Trump administration was taking a responsible diplomatic course to prevent further confrontation with Russia, which was the intent of Obama’s new sanctions.  The targeting of Flynn is thus a prime example of attempting to use the special counsel’s powers to criminalize an effort to achieve cooperation with the other major nuclear power on the planet, instead of poking them in the eye with a stick!
So why did Flynn plead guilty?  The consensus among legal experts not employed by the FBI or the mainstream media, is that Mueller was applying the white collar prosecutor’s most powerful tools, of driving up the cost of legal defense, and threatening the target’s family, to force them to cooperate with the prosecution.  Facing bankruptcy and the prospect of a long prison term for his son, Flynn caved in.
Yet, the hollowness of this “victory” is reflected in the charge itself.  If Mueller is able to get Flynn to agree to a story implicating Trump, by offering a reduced sentence for his cooperation, how reliable is testimony from a witness who pleaded guilty to lying?
THE CORRUPTION OF THE PROSECUTION
The other emerging story which discredits Mueller and the whole of Russiagate is that of top FBI agent Peter Strzok, who briefly served as a member of Mueller’s team.  Strzok was the number two counterintelligence official of the FBI, specializing in Russia.  He has been key to the unfolding of Russiagate from the beginning, as the general timeline which follows demonstrates (some dates are not specific, as Mueller and the FBI have not provided the information requested by the Congress):
June 2016 — Strzok represents the FBI in signing the initial document opening the investigation into Russian meddling.  In his capacity with FBI counterintelligence, he had served as a liaison to Obama’s CIA Director Brennan, who is another leading instigator of the Russiagate investigation.
July 2, 2016 — Strzok was part of the team which interviewed Hillary Clinton, in investigating her use of a private email server.  Days later, FBI Director Comey declined to recommend prosecution of Clinton.  It is now known that Strzok convinced Comey to change the wording on Clinton, from saying she was “grossly negligent”, which could have led to criminal charges, to “extremely careless,” heading off any charges.
July-August 2016 — In July, he was brought in by Comey to lead the Russia probe.  Two committees of Congress are now demanding that Strzok be compelled to testify on his role, which includes his involvement in the initial FBI engagement with Fusion GPS and its hireling, “ex”-MI6 operative Christopher Steele, on the “dodgy dossier” which alleges Trump is subject to blackmail by Putin, due to sexual improprieties captured on tape in a Moscow hotel.  Though Steele’s memos have been discredited, Mueller is continuing to pursue them, seeking a “smoking gun.”  Representative Devin Nunes of California and Iowa Senator Charles Grassley are demanding to know whether Strzok’s involvement with Fusion GPS was part of the FBI filing which led to authorization of a FISA warrant to conduct surveillance on the Trump campaign during the election!  The Fusion GPS/Steele dossier was paid for by the DNC and the Clinton campaign.
January 24, 2017 — Strzok was involved in the interrogation of Flynn, which led to his entrapment.
July 13, 2017 — Strzok joins Mueller’s team.
August 2017 — Strzok is removed from Mueller’s team after the FBI Inspector General reveals that text messages from Strzok to his mistress, an attorney with the FBI, have been found, which denigrate Trump and are favorable to Clinton.  This was not made public until the first week of December, months after his removal, when investigators from Congress recommended that the Department of Justice (DOJ) and FBI be held in contempt for refusing to allow Strzok to be interrogated.  Rep. Nunes said of the Strzok affair that, “By hiding from Congress and the American people documented political bias by a key FBI investigator for both the Russia collusion probe and the Clinton email investigation, the FBI and DOJ engaged in a willful attempt to thwart Congress’ constitutional oversight responsibility.”
Further, both Strzok and his mistress worked under Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, whose wife received nearly $700,000 for her campaign for a Virginia State Senate seat, from Governor Terry McAuliffe, a close Clinton confidante, and other Clinton supporters.  McCabe had been scheduled to testify before a House Committee on December 7, but refused to appear.  There is also an investigation into reports, filed by three FBI officials, that McCabe had expressed a personal animus toward Flynn going back to Flynn’s time as Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency.
Even before the Strzok story broke, a new poll for CBS News found that 48% of Americans believe the Russiagate investigation is “politically motivated”, that is, has nothing to do with “Russian meddling.”  The revelations emerging around Strzok make clear that, as we have reported from the beginning, Russiagate is nothing but an attempted coup d’état, to overturn the intent of the American people, by electing Donald Trump, to put an end to sixteen years of the dangerous and provocative Bush and Obama policies of endless war, bailouts of the bankrupt financial system, and murderous austerity against the people; and to prevent President Trump from bringing the U.S. into strategic cooperation with Russia and China.  The new revelations demonstrate further the web of corruption behind this whole process, including the dishonest and dirty role of Mueller himself (as documented in the LaRouchePAC dossier, “Robert Mueller is an Amoral Legal Assassin”), his investigation, the FBI, the Clinton campaign, the lying media, etc.
President Trump offered his own pithy summary to this turn of events in a tweet: “Now it all starts to make sense.”
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